Thursday, 31 January 2013

I beat F.E.A.R with all I had

Some people say FEAR means Forget Everything And Run.
This was exactly how I felt, as I stood, representing my group, in front of the Head of Risk Management and other members of the panel.
We were the most ill-prepared group in the entire training school.
We started preparations early, but due to one thing or the other, we were not ready.
That morning, while others polished their presenting skills, we were preparing (not even editing) our slides.
We hadn't finished when we were told to go to our classes, for the presentation.
We started zooming through the slides.
Suddenly, the guy in charge of the overall presentation came to our group and told us to use another financial data, which meant we had to discard the ones we had prepared several days ago.
Due to being pressed for time, we couldn't go through it, to check for completeness. If we had, we would have seen that the current year's data wasn't filled, and stuck to ours.
We went into the class, while some of us went to print copies of the slides, as stipulated, and got embarrassed by the man in charge, as others had done theirs much earlier.
There was still a bulky form to submit, and we hadn't filled a thing; neither had we gone through the new financial data, which we had just been instructed to include in our slides.
Like these weren't bad enough, we were yet to select the two members that would present, on behalf of the group.

Then the panel members entered.
Fortunately, we were going to be the 3rd to present.
While others were presenting/listening, we were hiding behind others to talk in hushed tones and pass notes on our plans.

It was a horrible experience!

My group members wanted another group member and me, to present. I acquiesced.
I then started going through the printed copies of the slides, when I realized that the financial data of the year being examined, was incomplete.
I lost my confidence immediately.
I told my group members I wasn't going to present anymore (I was the one to present the financial data) as standing before a crowd wasn't my cup of tea, then to now have to present incomplete financial data, which would make me appear clueless, would simply bowl me over.
The group before us were already presenting, so we had to decide fast.
My colleagues encouraged me to still go ahead.

I quickly scanned through the data, chose to be proactive about the missing data, by telling them that I'll have to use the previous year's data, as the current year's unavailable, and prepped myself up, to be ready.

Our turn had come!
With uncountable butterflies in my tummy, I got up, alongside my colleagues, and walked to the front.
When it was my turn to present, I stepped out and continued from where my Co-presenter stopped.
At a point during my presentation, F.E.A.R descended upon me, and I took a look at the door.
I kept talking, while thinking about how good it would be to just bolt out the door, and forget the presentation, but I carried on.
At the end, the financial data I was scared of was not faulted, since I had been proactive about it, instead of reacting to a complaint.
My group members and other colleagues kept congratulating me and telling me I did a fabulous job.
They said I looked so confident and well put-together, like I had been used to presenting.
When I told one of them about the FEAR situation, he found it hard to believe.

The results were announced soon after, and we came second!  
I was shocked!
Before the presentation, I expected our group to come last, but God helped us to beat the circumstances we were in, as well as the poor preparation, and we came second.
Incidentally, the group I had expected to come first, and seriously envied, based on their early preparation, team members with specialised skills, and eloquent presenters, came last.
I had learnt a great lesson.

  • It's been proven that most times, what we worry about never comes to actualisation, so shelve worry on the shelf.
There's a quote I read in a novel, and have held on to, for close to 2 decades; it goes thus "trying beats not trying". Better to try, fail and learn, than never to have tried at all. Take a step today.
  • If you're shaky when facing a crowd, never mind. The important thing is for you to have mastered the art of keeping a calm exterior. A lot of accomplished orators/speakers still get experience stage fright, but they've learnt to keep it hidden, while maintaining a calm, confidence exterior.
  • Believe in yourself. You can succeed. Instead of envying the gifts and blessings of others, sharpen and fully utilize yours and you will end up surpassing your self-expectations.
  • Put aside unhealthy comparison. Focus at being better than who you were, yesterday. Even the bible says that a wise man doesn't compare himself with others.
  • Be proactive, rather than reactive. If I hadn't explained the missing data, we would have been marked down, as I'll be questioned on it, and anything I would say thereon would seem to be mere excuses.
  • Never lie! There's no point. Asides the fact that it alienates you from God, who detests lying.
  • Never forget that with you holding on to God, you can never fall without rising.

    My sister was having one of those lazy days. She had taken tomatoes and pepper to the local grinder, and was back home.
    Dad then told her to put the blended TomaPep in the freezer. She said she couldn't as the freezer was full.
    An idea immediately sprung to mind: "I had to get her to 'will' a way out". I quickly chipped in and told her to go and boil the pepper to preserve it since the freezer was full.
    I knew she was smart enough to figure out which method was easier.
    She did!
    Within minutes, her creative mind came alive, and she created room for the bowl of TomaPep.
    I laughed and told dad I knew she would find room for the bowl; I just had to give her a tougher alternative.
    Sometimes we need to be pushed to will a way out of tough situations by being given a tougher alternative.
    Like the old saying goes "when there's a will, there's a way". You just need to be given a chance to have the will, once you do, you'll use that 'will' to find a way out of seemingly impossible situations.
    Most times, we don't know we are able to do greatly, until a great task is forced upon us. It's then the strength that lies in us, unutilized, becomes useful.
    Push someone today, by offering them a tougher alternative, and watch them beat their expectations.

    How I beat my expectatio​n

    I worked 13 days without a day's break!
    I could have made it 20 days, but I decided to give myself a day's break.
    I barely had time to think what I thought later "Is this me?"
    If someone had told me I could wake up by 4am, get back home around 11pm mentally and physically exhausted, play with my dog, chat with my family before heading to bed, and waking up by 4am, the following morning, I'll have said that person didn't know me well.
    Any other person, with a tougher personality could have easily achieved this, but I thought I couldn't. I didn't just think I couldn't, I had this self-assurance that I couldn't.
    Honestly, I never believed that was possible.
    I do have wild imaginations, but I couldn't even think this up!
    But I did, but this time, it was reality.
    I'll begin my day with E-learning lectures, of which I had to take notes, take an exam and score 80%. Besides that, we had almost unachievable deadlines. Once it was 9am, I'll go for classroom lectures, till 5pm (this could extend beyond that time) and sometimes, we would have tests after this. This was another achievement. I didn't believe I could sit and listen to another person go on and on, and I wouldn't sleep all through the class. Yes, I dozed, but I sat in front, always, so that was limited. I had to invent ways to stay awake...and doze a bit, uncaught (embarrassed look).
    After that, I'll quickly get a system, and begin my exams or e-lectures till 9 or almost 10pm. Then there was book reviews and presentations between that time. It was a loaded 4 weeks of intensive training. This is the only time I've seen the word "intensive" used aptly.
    That was the period I knew what brain saturation meant, experientially; my brain couldn't take a thing anymore.
    Couldn't believe how much I had been under-utilizing my brain all these years!!!

    Guess how I felt?
    I felt fly!
    It was cool being able to do all these, bending, yet not breaking.

    To you all, I say: beat your expectations, break your personal bounds and watch yourself achieve greatness.


    My siblings avoid buying bread from the market, as they've been deceived into buying bread that's almost stale, a number of times.
    Last Sunday afternoon, my mum said she was going to buy bread there, and a chorus of disapproval rose up from them.
    Even though I had also been 'bitten' I didn't mind as I'm always open to giving others/things, second or more chances.
    Dad reasoned with them that my mum's good at selecting fresh bread and all, but they didn't believe him.
    They were of the opinion that until the bread was tasted, one couldn't prove it's freshness.
    It was finally proven that mum got 2 perfect loaves!

    Funny, but a lot of people are like them.
    Some go through life expecting the same thing that once happened to them, to happen again.
    Thinking in absolute terms, rather than relative terms, has become the order of the day.
    Let me give an illustration of what I mean by thinking in absolute terms, rather than relative terms.
    It's common knowledge that daughter-in-laws (DIL) are said not to get along well with their Mother-in-laws (MIL).

    THINKING IN AN ABSOLUTE TERM: Now, if I got married with the determination that I have to battle my MIL before I can have a peaceful marriage, then I'll hold on to that mindset, not minding if my MIL is a wonderful woman or a difficult woman, who can be softened, greatly, by care. Instead of this giving me the peaceful marriage I crave, I'll get the exact opposite, especially if the woman falls into either of the 2 aforementioned categories.
    THINKING IN A RELATIVE TERM: If I go into marriage holding on to the belief that despite the widely-touted belief that DIL and MIL are like oil and water, I will get the best from the relationship once I do the needful. A lot of people may come and feed me with "you're not going to have a peaceful marriage because you haven't put your MIL in their place" but the exact opposite would happen based on factors I'll discuss another day.
    Based on the above illustration, thinking in an absolute term involves "I've been IRREPARABLY hurt by bad friends, so I WON'T have friends anymore"; while thinking in a relative term involves "Even though I've been BADLY hurt by bad friends, I know good friends abound, so I'll be careful not to choose bad friends next time, and if I do, I choose to choose, again".
    There's someone hurting, who's reading this post; I ask that you give TRUST a chance, again.
    Give Life a chance, again!
    Give Love a chance, again!
    Give Laughter a chance, again!


    Review on Jane Carter's "Nourish and shine"

    Once upon a not-too-distant time, and I were great buddies.
    I regularly visited it to check out products.
    I would scan through reviews just to discover magic products that could get my hair looking nice and manageable.
    During one of my numerous 'lust & get sessions', I came across Jane Carter's Nourish and Shine. The reviews and product description, tallied.
    Tightly curled, as well as loosely-curled sistas, raved about how great it was and all that, so I added it to my cart.

    I wasn't disappointed one bit!
    The amazing thing is that it could also be used on the skin, and the ingredients are all natural.

    After applying my leave-in, I use it to seal in moisture, concentrating on the ends. My ends immediately feel supple.
    I just need a little, and Bam! my hair is all shiny, and soft.
    I sometimes apply it in between washes.
    It blesses my hair with a nice fragrance.
    My palms also love it, cuz once I'm done with my hair, my palms rejoice in the paradise of 'softness'.

    The ingredients are: Shea butter, kokum butter, Illippe butter, Mango butter, Vitamins A, D,& E, pear and grapefruit essential oils.
    The only drawback this product has is that it's a tad expensive at $22 for a 4oz tub, but I got it during the '25% off' promo (yay!)
    I'll like to add this: always remember that a little goes a long way. If you use too much, you run the risk of having greasy hair.
    I'll definitely be buying again.

    *whispering* shhhhh!!! let me tell you a secret. Whenever I'm going out, I stop by our reflecting window, and admire my hair as the sun highlights the shine (sigh of contentment).

    ***I wrote this review for my friend, Emmanuella's blog and decided to share it here, also.